Two Dames Do Dogfish Head

When I visited the Great American Beer Festival a few years ago, I was impressed with lots of things. The hoards of bearded beer bros. The wonder of Denver. The tartness of sours. The bitter hops that can be packed into imperial double ULTIMATE IPAs!! But something else struck me… The line for the Dogfish Head stand. It seemed to span a mile! WHAT WERE THEY ALL WAITING FOR?!

See, though I’m just mad for the brews produced by Dogfish Head, I was born in Delaware. I grew up there, and though I migrated to Pennsylvania when I was 10, it was “Delaware County”, a stone’s throw from Wilmington. It’s no surprise, then, that DFH was never perceived to me as “rare” or “special” merely…. present. Ubiquitous, even. That said, I get it. If you’re someone who doesn’t have access to the tasty beers from the First State, they become something to seek out. Rare gems. And where better to pan for gems than the source? (That was my best try at a segue. Don’t hate me.)



My dear buddy Claire came down right after the new year cracked so we could take a journey south to Milton to visit the brewery for the day. We were promptly greeted with tickets to the tour and four sample pours. I chose the four I hadn’t tried before, and we enjoyed a little pre-tour tasting

Working my way through the ranks

Working my way through the ranks

Beer's better with buddies

Beer’s better with buddies

Before I’d even started my fourth pour, it was time to tour!

And I have a confession….

The tour was (at least the portion we were on) dreadfully dull. I have a feeling it isn’t always this way, but we got shafted by a tour guide who somehow managed to make my absolute favorite topic boring, while periodically making me feel weirded out… Claire put it best, saying that Lars (our tour guide) left us feeling like his entire spiel was a long joke that never got the punchline, and never really taught us anything about what makes Dogfish Head special.

Not for lack of looking!

Not for lack of looking!

It’s okay. Their website can tell you plenty. All we knew was that, after about 30 minutes of saying what felt like nothing, we had to get outta there.

We left the tour early for greener pastures (after one last beer…)

One day I'll get a new hat. but that day isn't today.

One day I’ll get a new hat. but that day isn’t today.

Lucky for us, Dogfish Head’s Brewpub is in Rehoboth Beach, a mere 25 minutes away. So we hit the road for some eats and dranks.

Tapas, anyone?

Tapas, anyone?

Pickles, cheese, olives, and beer: What else could two gals ask for?

The beers were brewpub exclusives, Pennsylvania Tuxedo and Analog, and they were world-rocking. Claire had the higher ABV since I was driving, but we both made sure we didn’t leave empty bellied….

Oh baby.

Oh baby.

We each got a porchetta sandwich with MORE PICKLES (quickly becoming something I seek out, don’t offer to dining partners! #growingup), arugula, roasted (or was it “blistered”) red peppers, and a rich aioli that I don’t even really remember beyond just stifled moans of enjoyment from both of us.

We both left proud members of the clean plate club, stoked that our DFH dreams came true, just a little distance away from where we thought they would.

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for those off-centered ales, and with a setting like this outside…. well, I still recommend a visit!

Steampunk Treehouse, anyone?

Steampunk Treehouse, anyone?

It was still a solid day trip, and if you’ve got the time (especially in the summer) worth the trek!

Best brewery tour you’ve ever taken?

New Belgium still has my heart…

Ladies Craft Beer Attire: Beer Couture

Mmm… that’s better.

I’m fresh out of my massage (courtesy of the Healthiest You Challenge), having just enjoyed a tasty deconstructed omelet (translation: I messed up mid-flip. It was still tasty). After a rough evening last night struggling to sleep thanks to that nap I “absolutely needed”, I’m looking forward to hitting the hay pretty early this evening.  But before I go, I wanted to discuss something I’m wildly fond of: Ladies Craft Beer Gear.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Six Pack Sunday, I am a fashionista. One that primarily rocks jorts and beer t-shirts. And while I’m content with your average classic t-shirt style (I can always snip them into something sexy with some inspiration from Pinterest), I had the good fortune to see some of craft beer’s fanciest finery this weekend at the Beer City Festival in Asheville, NC.  Real talk, there were some well-dressed ladies enjoying the festival, pouring, and generally looking fierce. And while not every brewery has embraced fashionable swag options for their lady beer enthusiasts, I’ve found a number that embody everything I want in some lady clothes. Appealing to the eye, looks comfortable, fits our uniquely womanly shapes… And it only makes sense to share my research so that all of my fellow females can dress the part of a craft beer lover.

Lagunitas Brewing Company’s online shop offers a number of lovely options. But my favorite was actually a hand-painted shirt I saw one of the Lagunitas Ladies wearing this Saturday.

Click image to check out the shirt/buy!

Beautiful color, hand-painted, adorable v-neck… It’s just everything a girl could ask for!

Mother Earth Brewery from Kinston, NC just released their newest beer swag…. That’s right: ATHLETIC SHORTS!

Click image to go to their store!

Even though the shorts aren’t yet available online, I’m doing my best to get a pair of the navy ones (if I can squeeze my booty into an American Apparel size XL which is the equivalent of a children’s size 14). The Mother Earth logo is gorgeous, I’d be proud to wear any of their gear, but the shorts…. I just can’t.

The next item might be a bit familiar to y’all.

Oh, hey there St. Patty’s Day!

Brooklyn Brewery’s v-neck shirt is one of my favorite shirts that I even own. It’s super flattering, very comfortable, and looks GREAT with a pair of jorts.

That’s really what I look for in any clothing.

If you hate sleeves and need to show off your guns, why not try Big Boss Brewery’s sexy tank top?

Too cute

Since I love just about every one of Big Boss’ beers, I can support any of their other shirts on their site. This one’s just my favorite.

Oskar Blues actually has a GREAT selection of cute, lady-friendly clothing items.  But, when you feel the need to channel your inner Flashdance, there’s only one option.

Click image to buy the shirt!


I know. Dale’s Pale Ale is tasty to boot, so you can’t go wrong with this top.

I never knew about Schlafly until Hannah sent me a Pumpkin Beer (which I loved) but their Biere de Garde top has me totally convinced that they must be a girl’s best friend.

Click image to go to store

The vintage wash and scoop neck are my favorite parts, but obviously the logo is a perfect location if you feel like people aren’t looking at your left breast enough.

If this Dogfish Head Patagonia Graviti Hoody wasn’t $79, I’d have 4 of them… Which would be weird since they only come in two colors, but seriously, it’s THAT cool.

The ridiculously good looking model doesn’t hurt

I love a good zip-up.

For another hoodie that is a little more relaxed and destroyed in appearance, look no further than Abita’s Abbey Ale Hoodie.

Click image to go to store

While the color isn’t my favorite, it’d be great around a campfire, or a cool night with a pair of jeans. Or jorts, if it isn’t TOO cool of a night.

Are all of these covering your sexy body up too much?

I understand, and so does Lonerider.

Click image to go to store

Craft beer thongs are the new black.  You heard it here first.

Ladies: Which of these clothing items would YOU want? OR, if you don’t see one you like, what would be your perfect piece of beer (or wine, or liquor) gear?

Fellows: Would you wanna see any of these on your ladies?





Six Pack Sunday: The Leftovers

Sometimes All the time, I keep a camera with me. It’s a little point a shoot, Nikon Coolpix S203.

Because I am painfully aware that I have this camera with me at all times, I find myself taking pictures a lot. Pictures of things I want to remember, pictures of things to remind myself of other things, funny pictures, stupid pictures. Then, I pull them onto my computer, and, unless I do something with them right away (blog, tweet, upload to Facebook), chances are, I’ll forget that I even took them.

This week’s Six Pack Sunday is dedicated to those pictures. The forgotten, the leftovers, the little snapshots that never surfaced on the world wide web.  Come along for the ride, why don’t you?

1. I’m the Queen of the Cubes!

At UNC I had the unique opportunity to be a female in a co-ed literary and arts fraternity. And, every now and then, I’d visit my brothers at Ole Miss.  Ole Miss being Ole Miss, their chapter was all male.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be in a fraternity?

This pretty much sums it up.

I know, I know, it’s not #craftbeer. I’m not mad.  And man, does it pair nicely with spicy crawfish, loud music, and springtime in Oxford, MS.

2. Dora the… Crustacean?

She’s super crabby

There’s a lot of wacky things at the Jersey shore.

This Dora the Explorer hermit crab is just one of them.

3. Dogfish Head Tap Takeover

Woody’s at City Market had a Dogfish Head Tap Takeover this summer. And I rushed from my beach volleyball game in Cary to make it, still wearing my sandy shorts and tank top, sweating my face off.

Glistening with beer joy

It was completely and totally worth it, if only for a chance to try the Sah’Tea Randalized with Black Indian Chai and lemon zest.  To date, one of the most delicious beers I’ve ever put in my mouth.

Oh, and the $3.50 flights didn’t hurt, either.

A Perfect Paddle

If I lived anywhere closer to Raleigh, I get the feeling that the folks at Woody’s and I would get very very close.

4. Sisters Icing Bros

Does anyone remember back when “Icing” was a thing? Icing is a drinking game for bros (and chick-bros), where the point is to make other bros drink Smirnoff Ice “against their will, at ridiculously inopportune times.”

Last year, we iced my brother on the beach.

And then, my aunt Iced him on Christmas.

Merry Christmas

99% of the time, I’m very very glad this is not a trend anymore.

1% of the time, when I’m writing Six Pack Sundays, I miss it so much.

5. Save the Date

I took the following picture the first weekend of January 2011.


Well, I’m not absolutely certain what I was doing on May 21, 2011. But I’ll tell you what I wasn’t doing.  I wasn’t hanging out with the big JC, despite wearing my most appropriate Return of Christ outfit.

Maybe next year?

6. Some People Eat Bugs

Every year, Raleigh’s NC Museum of Natural Sciences hosts Bugfest.  There’s cool exhibits and people covered in bees and butterfly crafts.

Oh, and lots and lots of edible bug treats.  Local chefs and restaurants will whip up versions of their food featuring one key ingredient: BUGS!  There was lots to try last year.

Locopops featuring cricket bits!

The chocolate cricket Locopops were by far my favorite.

Cold and crickety, just how I like it.

Ever eaten a bug?

Ever iced a bro?

Ever relaxed on a pile of beers taller than you are?

Nothing’s Right, I’m TORN!

(***WARNING: The following post is going to make me sound like a spoiled brat.  I promise that [most of the time] I am not, and I’m just being melodramatic because it’s Wednesday and I’m sleepy.  Take it with a grain of salt, as a fair percent of it is in jest.***)

Here’s the thing.  When you offhandedly tell your friends you’d be okay with playing one night for them in volleyball if they needed, you never really think that volleyball game is going to come.

Here’s the other thing: You’re wrong.

That game will come and it will, undoubtedly, be the night that you really wanted to/planned with folks to go to Woody’s City Market in Raleigh with all your friends from that Tri-Beer Meetup you talk about incessantly.

Not only that, but one game will really mean two games, scheduled at the least convenient times ever known to mankind.  6:30. 8:30.

Don’t worry, the games will “be conveniently” (those quotation marks imply the dripping sarcasm that’s coming out of my every pore) located about 30 minutes from your house, 3o minutes from the bar, and 30 minutes from any likelihood of you being able to participate in the Dogfish Head Tap Takeover you’ve waited for your whole beer life (which may only be a mere 2 years in the making, but it still means a lot because this never happens and Dogfish is NEVER on tap anywhere near you).  You know, in case you were worrying.

You will undoubtedly feel like a brat for wanting to play one game then dash, and you will also feel like a jerk for ditching your beer friends.  This is natural.  Be prepared to feel this way all day.

Here’s the thing: whatever happens, it’s going to make you feel lousy.

How is it only Wednesday?

To make up for this downer of a post, here are a few things that make me incredibly happy:

  • This one time, I went to a Lady Gaga concert.  This was my outfit:

    That's right. Those are birds in my hair.

    This was my inspiration:

    Yup, birds on his back.

  • Although mon frere, Hunter, thought it’d be patriotic of him to go to France during the Fourth of July and take pictures like this:

    Il est degoutante, non?

    … he’s back, stateside!  Which means that I will be showering him with all the American love I have to give in just a few days!!

    He's my twin, 7 years removed.

    Can’t wait.

  • Today is the Changing of the Sales.  Come on, Harris Teeter…. Mommy needs some new cheese!

Tri-Foodie Tweetup: Jujube Style

Hey all you crazy dreamers out there….

So, I’m sure a few of you out there like to enjoy that wonderful social network of the Twitterverse.  And if you haven’t, you’re missing out on a lot (namely: following me!!) But honestly, Twitter’s given me the chance to go from just an onlooker of food, beer, and wine events in the NC Research Triangle to an active participant. And one of my big goals with this year, as well as this blog, was to become even more active in the awesome world of food and beer in this blossoming culture.

To sum it all up in layman’s terms: I wanna be more of a mover/shaker and less of a parasite sucking off the teet of the shakers and movers out there.

One of my favorite recurring events that goes on is called the #trifoodietweetup. In the past, they’ve been hosted by such fantastic Triangle locations such as Four Square, Six Plates, Fearrington Village, and (most recently) Jujube in Chapel Hill! Andrea Weigl and Johanna Kramer know how to get great venues, and set up some classy evenings.  Tonight’s theme: Asian Tapas and Artisan Rum Cocktails.  I believed, when I was going, it’d be more like a small sampling of cocktails and tapas all included in the cost (a bit more than $11) but when we showed up, the menu listed the food as included and the drinks were separate.  Also, nothing felt all that Asian (except some spring rolls they served later in the night, but that weren’t on the menu).

Tasty menu offerings!

I couldn’t resist one of the drinks, listed, a Traditional Daquiri with white rum, luxardo maraschino, lime, and cane syrup for $8. I have to agree, this was a delicious cocktail, and I was pretty happy to pay for it, I think it was worth it.

Close up on the drinkies!

I also saw there was a Dogfish Festina Pesche that I knew would be my last drink of the night.  But anyway, onto the foods.

First Course: salads

The pink salad on the right was a Watermelon Cucumber salad with piqant mint dressing and Johnston County country ham. This. Was. Brilliant. Seriously, I was so surprised by how well the watermelon paired with the ham. It was almost as if it drew out the natural flavor and maybe some sort of spice in the fruit. The cucumber was nice and crunchy (which actually was a wicked bummer with this tooth infection, but would’ve been enjoyed otherwise). The salad on the left was an Octopus-arugula salad with orange and sorrel. The octopus… was not worth writing home, in my opinion. Loved the orange and arugula mix though, good little wilted quality.

Won ton (and some progress on the cocktail in the back...)

Up next was a fried lobster-shrimp won ton with lemon, miso butter. The first batch of these were great. Alas, when I got another one a little later, it was more won ton and less filling, and was just too much crunch for my liking, like the flavor was fried right out of it.  The blend of lobster-shrimp inside was fantastic though, and left me very excited for the next offering.

Been spending most our lives living in a fried-stuff-paradise...

This is where the party really got started. Clockwise from the upper left: Tempura fried prawn (and okra, eaten already) with a little heirloom tomato conserve; Porcini and tellegio stuffed rice fritters (the tan fried balls of awesome); Shrimp-zucchini fritters with grilled chile aioli (cute pink phone… that’s mine.)  The breakdown: the tempura fried prawn was great, mostly because it was so simple. Just a prawn, covered in fried batter. hooty hoo. That being said, the fried okra was no bueno, just too dried out.

The rice fritters: ethereal! The tellegio cheese inside kept the fritters moist and delicious, and though I’m not normally a fan of mushrooms (pretty sure that’s what porcini is, right?) they just blended into the tastiness.

The shrimp-zucchini fritter might have been my very favorite, though. The chili aioli added the perfect amount of spiciness, and made me wanna guzzle down my daquiri (which I did. Classy.)

The star of my show

I’ll admit, I’d been waiting anxiously to try the Dogfish Head Festina Peche.  From the brewer:

It is delicately hopped with a pale straw color and served as an aperitif or summertime quencher. To soften the intense sourness, Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with a dash of essence of woodruff or raspberry syrup.  In our Festina Peche since the natural peach sugars are eaten by the yeast, the fruit complexity is woven into both the aroma and the taste of the beer so there is no need to doctor it with woodruff or raspberry syrup – open and enjoy!

I’ve said it before: I love summer seasonal ales, especially if they’ve got some fruit in there somewhere. And this was one of the finest I’ve tried. The peach was there and more reminiscent of a peach I had last year from the Durham Farmer’s Market, fresh and even a little earthy. Not all all like I imagined it would be (which would be like when a candy company tries to make a peach flavored treat… overly sweet and chemically). Coming from a bottle, I didn’t have a glass to check the color, but it had a nice medium amount of carbonation and was tart enough to compete with my fried frittery treats.  It rounded out this evening perfectly.

Big thanks to Jujube and the fine ladies who threw this event together (even though I didn’t win a cookbook) and it just goes to show you the moral of this story:

Even if you have an aggressive gum infection on your wisdom tooth, you can utilize half of your mouth to enjoy the flip outta some fried Asian tapas and badass cocktails/brews.